Congratulations!! If you’re anything like I was, you are soooo excited to jump into wedding planning!! You might be wondering how to pick your wedding vendors. For me, and most of the couples I talk with, the first vendors to book for your wedding are your planner, venue, photographer, and DJ. Then you can work on the fun details like florals, your dress, hair & makeup, etc. All of these choices are going to impact the overall vibe of your day, and it’s important to pick the right people so that you create your wedding day dream team!!
As a wedding photographer with 12 years of experience, I’ve chatted with hundreds of couples throughout their wedding planning process. I wanted to share some tips for those of you who are at the very beginning!
1. Figure out the style
of photography you love
2. Ask for referrals
3. Review their work
4. Make a connection
5. Talk details
& ask questions
My clients choose me because they’re looking for their wedding day to be captured in a photojournalistic way. They want all of the real moments of the day (both big AND small!) captured as they happen. They also want to be guided through the portrait portion of their day in a way that makes them feel and look comfortable in front of my camera.
They’re looking for timeless images that show their love and connection in a genuine way. That is what I do! That is MY style of photographing a wedding day!!
But there are numerous other styles and ways to look at wedding photography. Do the research ahead of time to find out what it is you’re looking for, and then search (yay Google & Instagram!) for a style that fits you as a couple! Instagram is a great way to search for photography styles that you love. Search hashtags like #charlestonweddingphotography or #SCweddingphotography to find images and photographers that catch your eye.
Once you decide what type of photography you love, ask friends and family for referrals! There is a magnitude of amazing wedding photographers in Charleston, SC (and beyond!) but a great wedding photographer is so much more than beautiful photographs. You want to make sure you’re choosing a photographer who will provide you with an amazing overall experience from beginning to end! This is where word of mouth really comes into play!
Another great source of referrals is other wedding vendors. The wedding industry is a tight-knit community and your Venue, DJ, Planner, Videographer, or Florist is sure to have suggestions for other vendors.
When you’ve begun to narrow down your top choices for your wedding photographer, review their portfolio & ask about their experience. Make sure to look through multiple weddings on their portfolio or their blog, and focus on wedding days that have a similar feel to what you’re going for! Don’t hesitate to reach out to the photographer and ask for examples of work that match the overall vibe of your day.
I feel like this is the most important part of choosing a wedding photographer! Having a good connection with the photographer is KEY. Not only is this person preserving one of the most important days of your life, they'll also be with you throughout your entire wedding day.
A great place to start is on the About Me section of the photographer's website or their social media outlets, like Instagram & Facebook. These are all great ways to hear the voice of the person behind the photos and to begin to see if you feel a connection with them, not only as an artist, but on a personal level.
I love to meet with couples to show them tangible photographs and albums, and to make sure that we connect. Not only should this be a top priority to the couple, but as a photographer, it is imperative that I mesh with my couples. My goal is not to work with every client, my goal is to work with clients who I CONNECT with… that is how I’m able to create images that capture you authentically and personally!!
During your meeting with your potential wedding photographer, make sure to ask any questions you might have. I always go over the details of what it’s like to work with me when I meet with my couples. It’s important to me to really guide my couples through each step of the process so that they have the most wonderful overall experience.
Make sure you discuss key topics like the timeline of your wedding day, a shot list, booking details, the importance of an engagement session, your first look, and the final delivery of images.
I hope this helps you when choosing the perfect wedding photographer for you!!! Above all, I believe wedding planning should be FUN!!